Phosphorus Optimal Wetland Demo

The US Army Corps of Engineers has constructed a 10 acre demonstration wetland in Defiance, OH that will serve as a model for optimizing phosphorus retention and nonpoint source reduction in agricultural settings. Excess phosphorus (P) runoff in Great Lakes tributaries can contribute to the development of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) with potential to harm coastal ecosystems and local economies, and threaten human health.

Funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, this project is employing a novel approach to improving Great Lakes tributary water quality based on the construction of a wetland system in a location identified as having high potential to capture and retain phosphorus sorption capacity. An inter-agency project team from the US Army Corps of Engineers - Engineer Research and Development Center and the US Geological Survey has partnered to operate, research, and monitor the demonstration wetland. The wetland is designed to capture high tributary flows and associated legacy phosphorus loads and filter them through a series of treatment cells.

Construction was completed in the late winter of 2021, with monitoring, control, and field research planned to continue for five years. This project builds on several years of research on soil phosphorus storage capacity and will contribute to a better understanding of how phosphorus can be retained on the landscape and kept out of Great Lakes tributaries. The innovative project is being coordinated with federal partners, including USEPA, NRCS, and USGS, as well as partners at the state and local level, to share lessons learned and inform other wetland restoration project designs to maximize nutrient capture in the Western Lake Erie Basin

Publications List

Presentations List

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Presentation TitleYearAuthorsConferenceLocationType
Optimizing phosphorus retention in wetland soils: Case-study in Maumee River Basin, Ohio2022Kaufman S, Berkowitz JF, Bufkin, S, Hurst NRAmerican Geophysical Union Annual MeeetingChicago, ILPoster
Optimizing wetlands to reduce excess nutrients2022Bufkin, S, Berkowitz JF, Kaufman S, Hurst NRSoil Science Society of America Annual MeetingBaltimore, MDPoster
A proposed framework for optimizing P retention in wetland soils2022Berkowitz JF, Bufkin, S, Hurst NR, Kaufman SSociety of Wetland Scientists Annual MeetingGrand Rapids, MIOral
A multi-scale framework for evaluating wetlands in a nutrient reduction context2022Berkowitz JF, Bufkin, S, Hurst NR, Kaufman SInternational Association of Great Lakes ResearchCleveland, OHOral
Phosphorus Sorption in Agricultural Wetland Soils: A Multi-Method Approach to Optimize Constructed Wetland Operation2021Hurst, NR, VanZomeren CM, Berkowitz JFSoil Science Society of America Annual MeetingSalt Lake City, UTOral
A sticky situation: The challenge of optimizing P sorption dynamics in restored wetlands2021Berkowitz JF, Vanzomeren CM, Hurst NR, Sebastian KJ13th International Symposium on Biogeochemistry of WetlandsVirtualOral
Improving public engagement in hydric soils studies2020Berkowitz JF, Vanzomeren CMSoil Science Society of America Annual MeetingVirtualPoster
Phosphorus sorption in agricultural wetland soils: A multi-method approach to optimize nutrient retention2020Hurst N, VanZomeren CM, Berkowitz JFSoil Science Society of America Annual MeetingVirtualOral
Phosphorus sorption in agricultural wetland soils - temperature, redox, and amendment effects2019Hurst NR, VanZomeren CM, Berkowitz JFSoil Science Society of America Annual MeetingSan Antonio, TXOral
Coupling watershed modeling with wetland soil data improves identification of target locations for P reduction2019Berkowitz JF, VanZomeren CM, Schlea D, Bowes C, Hurst NSoil Science Society of America Annual MeetingSan Antonio, TXPoster
P optimal wetlands and soil phosphorus storage capacity2019Berkowitz JF, VanZomeren CM, Schlea D, Bowes C, Hurst NGreat Lakes Sedimentation WorkshopChicago, ILOral
Phosphorus fate in wetlands - a tale of sources, sinks, and soils2019Berkowitz JF, VanZomeren CM, Schlea D, Friona TInternational Association of Great Lakes Research Annual MeetingBrockport, NYOral
Emerging issues in wetland soils research - engineering approaches to maximize soil function2019Berkowitz JF, Vanzomeren CMSoil Science Society of America International Soils MeetingSan Diego, CAOral
Can a treatment wetland designed for N removal retain P?2018Berkowitz JFSociety of Wetland Scientists 1st Annual Twitter SymposiaVirtualVirtual
Incorporating soil functions into wetland restoration projects - lessons learned across diverse geographic regions and wetland types2018Berkowitz JF, Vanzomeren CM, White JRSociety of Wetland Scientist Annual MeetingDenver, COOral
P-Optimal Wetlands: Assessing the Capacity of Wetlands to Improve Water Quality in Great Lakes Agricultural Watersheds2018Bell, S., D. Schlea, C. Boles, B. Lord, M. Voorhees, and A. FrionaSixth Interagency Conference on Research in the WatershedsShepherdstown, WVOral
Assessing the Maumee River Watershed for Targeted Wetland Placement2018Boles, C., D. Schlea, S. Bell, G. Peterson, and B. LordAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International MeetingDetroit, MIOral
Phosphorus-Optimal Wetlands: Summary of Location and Design Criteria2017Schlea, D., S. Bell, C. Boles, B. Lord, M. Voorhees, and A. FrionaGreat Lakes Sedimentation WorkshopChicago, ILOral
Assessing the Large-Scale Feasibility of Wetlands as Agricultural BMPs: A Literature Review2017Boles, C., S. Bell, D. Schlea, G. Peterson, M. Voorhees, and A. FrionaAmerican Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual International MeetingSpokane, WAOral
Assessing the Large-Scale Feasibility of Wetlands as Agricultural BMPs2017Schlea, D., S. Bell, C. Boles, M. Voorhees, and A. Friona60th Annual Conference on Great Lakes ResearchDetroit, MIOral
Soil phosphorus sorption capacity - Everglades to the Great Lakes2017Berkowitz JF, Vanzomeren CMGreat Lakes Sedimentation WorkshopChicago, ILOral
Wetlands as a Strategic BMP in the Maumee Watershed2016Boles, C., T. Redder, G. Peterson, and J. BrattonGreat Lakes Sedimentation WorkshopAnn Arbor, MIOral